August 28th, 2008
07:34 PM ET

Mile-long lines in the Mile-High city

Joe Johns
AC360° Correspondent

Wanted to send a quick note about the lines outside of INVESCO field:

There actually appear to be a couple lines leading in different directions.

The line we walked has got to be a couple miles long up to this point. Some police told us it is six miles long, but It snakes and undulates, making it quite difficult to judge.

It moves rapidly across the Auraria Blvd overpass then slows down once u get to the other side,
Just a continuous stream of people walking across a bridge on the boulevard near here
From the way they are dressed really a collection of every type of person…

From working class people in blue collar uniforms to men in suits and women in high heels.
It’s warm out and people who aren’t in the greatest shape are naturally huffing and puffing a bit.

I talked to one guy who said this is a little like getting to the Super Bowl… Which seems about right because that is another national ‘special security event‘ like the conventions.

Take a look at some of these photos:




August 28th, 2008
05:13 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Obama's Night

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/08/28/obama.thursday/art.obama.invesco.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama takes a walkthrough of Invesco Field at Mile High on Wednesday night."]Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, Barack Obama will become the first African-American to accept a major party's nomination for President of the United States. His speech comes on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.  And, it will take place in front of 75,000 people at Denver's Invesco Field (home to the NFL's Denver Broncos), with  millions more watching at home during the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

"Senator Obama's speech tonight will be as he himself has characterized it, more workmanlike, a very direct conversation with the American people about the choice we face in this election. About the risk of staying on the same path we're on, the risk of just more of the same versus the change we need," Obama spokeswoman Anita Dunn said in a conference call with reporters.

What do you want to hear tonight from Senator Obama?

Keep in mind, it's not just the words from Obama that will get noticed.  There's a lot of buzz  over the backdrop (AKA: the stagecrafting) chosen for tonight's speech.  Obama will be speaking in front of faux-marble neo-classical columns. The McCain camp is dubbing it the "Temple of Obama" or "Barackopolis." It's also offering some fashion "advice". "The toga may have gone out of style centuries ago, but after Obama's temple speech . . . they're sure to be flying off the racks," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said.

What do you think of  Obama's backdrop? 

We'd love to hear from you. And, keep it locked on CNN for our special coverage of this historic night. Here's the lineup of tonight's speakers:


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
August 28th, 2008
04:03 PM ET

Beat 360° 08/28/08

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Check back later to see if you are our favorite!
Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden points into the crowd as he is joined by his five grandchildren on stage after speaking to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Wednesday.

Beat 360°

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Beat 360° Challenge

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Good luck to all!

Update: Today's winner is Dan from Elizabethton, Tennessee who wrote:

Coming this Winter to the White House: "The Biden Bunch"

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
August 28th, 2008
03:36 PM ET

Amid a sea of despair

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/28/art.india.flood.jpg caption="The worst flooding in decades has devastated much of the state of Bihar in India."]Sara Sidner
International Correspondent

I am surrounded by nothing but water. I’m sitting in an aluminum boat with a couple of cracks in it, going on a rescue mission with the army in Bihar, where almost 3 million people have now been affected by the worst flooding in decades.

The worst flooding in decades has devastated much of the state of Bihar.
Sorrow is everywhere. A village is just ahead. You can see the tops of some homes while others are hidden beneath the rising water. People are begging for us to stop and help them.

We’re stopping.

There is only enough room for 80 people on this boat. There are more than 150 waiting. It’s heartbreaking. People are piling on now. It’s too much and the army major screams for them to stop or the boat will sink.

Finally dozens of children, mothers, fathers, and grandparents get aboard. Some are crying, others stone faced. Everyone is hungry and tired.

One woman tells me she has nothing left. She has no idea where she will go and how she will feed her little girl. Her husband stuck in another village that is flooded.

The boat is taking on a little water. The army is discussing going back and dropping off a few people but decide against it. Slowly in the strong current of the Kosi river we can see land.


Filed under: Global 360°
August 28th, 2008
03:09 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: The very bad and the very, very good

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

In four decades, just three public school districts in the US have lost their accreditation. The dubious honor of that number three spot now belongs to Georgia’s Clayton County.

During the five years I spent in Atlanta, I heard a lot about Atlanta public schools, much of it negative. Parents and teachers, however, were working extra hard to change that. The school district we lived in had a great elementary school; it would have been a fantastic place for my son to begin his education. Sadly, our neighbors in Clayton County can’t say the same.


Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
August 28th, 2008
03:00 PM ET

Race, history and tears in the Obama nomination

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/28/art.vert.dnc.barackobama.jpg caption="Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama makes a surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Wednesday." width=292 height=320]Candy Crowley | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

Editor's Note: Candy spoke with Wolf Blitzer last night after Barack Obama was declared the Democratic Party's Presidential Candidate. Here's what she had to say:

One quick story: We were down in Mississippi at one point at Jackson State University, I think, and we were doing our live shots and there were guards all around and local police. And there was one local policeman stationed right where we were and so I was talking to him and he was from Jackson. And I said, you know, have you ever heard (Barack Obama) speak before?

And he said no. And I said well this will be exciting. And he said oh, well I have to - I'm working, you know. But I've seen him on TV. And about halfway through Obama's speech, I looked over at this guard and saw tears just streaming down his face.

So you saw that a lot... and you knew what a sense of history and how important this really was, in particular, to African-Americans.

But I will also tell you that Obama tends to draw very diverse crowds. And I would say - ask white people in the crowd, what do you like about him? And they generally said well, he's against the war or I like this or that plan. But the second thing they almost always said to me invariably was, I think it would say so much about our country if we nominated a half-black, half-white man. I think it would say how much we've progressed over the years.

So you always got that sense of history when you were traveling with Obama, from the very first day that I was with him in Springfield, Illinois, when he announced. You would ask people, what are you doing here? Because it was freezing. And there were just blocks and blocks and blocks of people.

You'd say, why are you here?

August 28th, 2008
12:59 PM ET

The GOP Should Ditch the Pro‑Life VP Litmus Test.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/28/art.mccain3.jpg]

John P. Avlon
Author, Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics

While the Democrats' convention in Denver is reaching its culmination, John McCain is preparing to seize back the spotlight by announcing his vice presidential pick in the next 24 hours.

But he might be forced to go with second best for the second slot on his ticket: because John McCain has been chaffing against threats from the far right that they will bolt the GOP if he does not subscribe to their pro‑life VP litmus test.

It has been widely whispered around the McCain camp that if he were free to pick the candidate he felt would best compliment his campaign – and the man best prepared to be president – McCain would pick either Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge.

Both these names would make good sense for McCain in a time of broad alienation from the Bush administration. But both men are pro-choice – like the majority of the American people – and that disqualifies them in the eyes of the GOP gatekeepers. It's the last taboo.


Filed under: John McCain • John P. Avlon • Raw Politics
August 28th, 2008
12:40 PM ET

Putin accuses U.S. of orchestrating Georgian war

Russia is at odds with the west over Georgia, but is it a new Cold War? CNN's Robin Oakley weighs up the rhetoric.
Russia is at odds with the west over Georgia, but is it a new Cold War? CNN's Robin Oakley weighs up the rhetoric.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Matthew Chance in the Black Sea city of Sochi Thursday, Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia.

Putin told CNN his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate - Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush - although he presented no evidence to back it up.

"U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict," Putin said. "They were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino blasted Putin's statements, saying they were "patently false."

"To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate just sounds not rational," she said.

U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood concurred, and labeled Putin's statements as "ludicrous."


Filed under: Global 360°
August 28th, 2008
12:06 PM ET

Wasn't ready then, isn't ready now

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/28/art.obamadnc.jpg]

Leslie Sanchez | Bio
CNN Political Contributor
Republican Strategist

Once again, the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot. In a half-baked effort to establish “unity” within their own ranks, they haul out Bill and Hillary Clinton – probably the only two people in politics who can, by their mere presence, unite Republicans.

Bill Clinton gave a slick speech tonight. His wife couldn’t bring herself to say that Barack Obama is ready to be President, so Bill overcompensated: he said “ready” so much, you’d think he was trying to convince himself.

But with Bill Clinton, the question always is, “is he lying now, or was he lying before?” All through the Primaries, Bill went around the country telling everybody who’d listen that Obama is ill-prepared for the White House. Which is it then?

I especially liked the point in the speech when Clinton recalled how, in his 1992 run, his opponents charged that he was too inexperienced for the nation’s highest office.

They were right. Bill’s first two years in office were such a disaster – careening from crisis to crisis – that by 1994, Americans were so disgusted that they elected Republicans to a majority in both Houses of Congress for the first time in more than 4O years.

Bill Clinton wasn’t ready then, and Barack Obama is not ready now. America can’t go through another two years like we sustained while Bill Clinton was riding around with training wheels.

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